Archive for April, 2012

After three months, Hallowell pot dispensary fitting in

April 23rd, 2012

12:00 AM

After three months, Hallowell pot dispensary fitting in

By Susan McMillan
Staff Writer

HALLOWELL — For nearly two years, Chelsea resident Deborah Hutchinson had to rely on the help of friends to procure the marijuana she uses to relieve spasticity from multiple sclerosis.

Rebecca DeKeuster

Now, however, she can drive across the river to buy medical marijuana at the Wellness Connection of Maine dispensary that opened in downtown Hallowell in January.

“It’s made it so much easier,” said Hutchinson, 58. “I don’t have to worry about where I can get it. Before I wasn’t sure when I could get it, so I sort of rationed it. Now it’s so easy to go over there and get it.”

In a little more than three months of operation, the Hallowell dispensary has served about 100 patients, according to Wellness Connection Executive Director Rebecca DeKeuster.

“Things are going really well,” DeKeuster said. “We’ve had good response from patients in that area, and we’re adding new patients all the time.”

Friday was 4/20, a day of celebration for marijuana activists and users across the country, with gatherings taking place on college campuses and in other public places.

Wellness Connection hosted small celebrations at each of their three sites, with treats and banjo music, DeKeuster said. At 4:20 p.m., they raffled off a marijuana delivery device.

Wellness Connection opened a dispensary in Thomaston last fall and another in Portland in late March. They have about 400 patients at

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Medical marijuana exposition in Augusta attracts hundreds of attendees

April 15th, 2012

Vendors selling everything from smoking implements to marijuana growing materials were among the many vendors at the Canna Maineia medical marijuana expo on April 14 and 15, 2012, at the Augusta Civic Center.Hundreds of participants and dozens of vendors flocked to the Augusta Civic Center on April 14 and 15 for the Canna Maineia Medical Marijuana Exposition.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Hundreds of people gathered at the Augusta Civic Center this weekend for Canna Maineia, an exposition extolling the benefits of medical marijuana.

Live music, numerous vendors and medical marijuana users of many stripes crowded the civic center for the two-day event, which was organized by Jim Fowler of Hermon. Much of the conference focused on providing information for people about how to grow their own marijuana, through education and sales of everything from growing lights to organic soil to smoking implements. Among the keynote speakers was Dustin Sulak, an osteopathic physician with practices in Hallowell and Falmouth.

“I see such a wide variety of patients in my practice

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Two of three Lewiston men plead guilty in medical marijuana robbery

April 14th, 2012

AUBURN — Two of three men charged in the robbery last year of a Lewiston man’s medical marijuana have admitted to related charges.

Ricardo Hairston, 19, of Lisbon Street, Lewiston, pleaded guilty Thursday to robbery, violation of condition of release and criminal threatening. He had been a track star at Edward Little High School where he graduated in 2010.

Hairston agreed to an underlying sentence of 10 years on the Class B robbery charge, the most serious of the charges, which was reduced from a Class A. The time he must serve on that charge was capped at five years, but he can argue for less time at sentencing, according to a plea agreement.

He also agreed to three years of probation, during which time he may not use or have alcohol, drugs, firearms or dangerous weapons and would be subject to random searches and testing. His sentencing is scheduled for May 3.

Kevin A. Stitchel, 22, of Bartlett Street pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. On the robbery charge, he was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison with all but four years suspended, plus three years of probation. He will serve a two-year concurrent sentence for the lesser charge.

Derrick J. McDuffy, 21, also of Bartlett Street, is awaiting a mental health exam and is expected to be appointed a new lawyer.

McDuffy was charged with robbery, burglary and criminal threatening, all felonies. He also was charged with violation of condition of release and theft by

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Man facing pot bust charge challenges ex-MDEA officer’s credibility

April 5th, 2012

Rockland — Hope resident Christian Willis Neils, 35, charged in a criminal indictment with aggravated trafficking and felony possession of marijuana, is trying to challenge the search warrant that led to his arrest in September 2010.

Appearing before Justice Jeffrey Hjelm in Knox County Superior Court March 28 Neils through his attorney, Leonard Sharon of Auburn, argued that former Maine Drug Enforcement Officer Kirk Guerrette failed to disclose his drug habits when he applied for the search warrant of the home of Neils.

The court heard oral arguments whether Neils and his attorney have the right to question the officer’s credibility at this stage of the case.

About 15 supporters of Neils, at a rally in front of the courthouse before the hearing, said the case is shaping up to be a constitutional issue of violating search and seizure law enforcement actions against the citizenry.

“This is a landmark case,” one supporter said, noting that residents were at the hearing to show the court their concern that the citizens’ rights to private property not be abridged without the rule of law, “most especially not by an officer whose credibility is in doubt.”

Neils, who said he grew up in Appleton, has an 18-year political activism career and is a medical marijuana patient and caregiver.

The felony charges Neils faces stem from a raid conducted by

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What employers should know about Maine’s new marijuana rules

April 2nd, 2012

At the Augusta Civic Center last November, regular folks from across the state gathered under a tent to compare marijuana buds and inhale marijuana through vaporizers during a medical marijuana trade show. In homes across the state, cancer patients and individuals with other debilitating medical conditions use medical marijuana regularly and in compliance with state law. Most of these folks have jobs, and as their numbers grow, issues related to their use of medical marijuana are showing up in the workplace.

Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act decriminalizes the use of marijuana for certain medical purposes. Under MUMA, qualifying patients may use, and their caregivers may cultivate, medical marijuana in conformity with state requirements. A qualifying patient is one who has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer or glaucoma, or an otherwise chronic or debilitating medical condition that produces long-term pain, severe nausea or other similar symptoms. MUMA provides certain express employment protections for qualifying patients and caregivers, while also supporting an employer’s right to a drug-free workplace. Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services oversees the program, but neither DHHS nor the Department of Labor has provided any additional guidance for employers wrestling with its practical impacts.

Employers must rely on common sense interpretations of the law, as well as the few rules set forth in the statute:

Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Portland – WLBZ

April 1st, 2012



PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The first medical marijuana dispensary in Portland has officially opened to patients. 

Today was the first day of operations at the Wellness Connection of Maine’s office on Congress Street. Organizers expect this one to be one of the busiest, they’ve already heard from over a hundred patients interested in medical marijuna help.

The building has been completely renovated to look and feel more peaceful; the security system has also been beefed up quite a bit.

The way things operate now, organizers would like new patients to call ahead and set up an initial meeting. Eventually the space will be open to patients to come in whenever they want and simply hang out and relax, use it as a community center, even get some accupuncture.

There are currently dispensaries in Thomaston Hallowell, the next one will open in Brewer.

For more information, click here.


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